When I heard about Guardians of the Galaxy (the film) I was convinced that Marvel had dropped the ball. I saw a picture of the crew, and no – this was not for me.
Then I saw the trailer. Hmm, this looks surprising. And the film when released – wow. Just wow. One of my favourites. So the prospect of a Telltale adventure set in the Guardians universe got me a bit excited but I wondered how they’d do it – the first film is pretty much establishing the team, so we don’t need a retelling or re-imagining.
Fortunately, the game starts with the crew already together and the story is that of one of their adventures. This first episode is really about setting the scene, with your choices more about managing (or creating) conflict between the characters.
As you’d hope – the start is brilliant. The characters are introduced and music from the ‘Awesome Mix’ starts and sets the background for humour. The essence of the films is captured really well here, although the slightly different voices take a bit of getting used to from those which you’ve become familiar with (no Chris Pratt here).
As the scene-setting continues, you’re treated to a couple of flashbacks of a younger Starlord. Telltale is building the connection to their versions of these characters and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here. I am hoping though that they manage to wrangle some significant deviations from your choices. For example, I managed to upset Rocket as he was upsetting Drax – hopefully this won’t simply mean later that a Rocket save would simply be replaced by Drax. After all, the characters aren’t as expendable as say The Walking Dead, and there are some stricter boundaries with which Telltale can push.
It looks much as you’d expect – there’s no mistaking that this is a Telltale game. The characters are more in proportion that some of their other games, but it has an animated TV show feel about it. It still amazes me though that Telltale have essentially one style of game – yet the performance issues which blight other releases are present here too. Changing scenes is the biggest, with a very slight delay each time the camera cuts. This isn’t a deal breaker but it’s jarring – especially with a cinematic franchise such as this. What should be like feeling part of a Guardians film comes off as a dodgy bootleg copy at points. With all the power of modern consoles – and these aren’t taxing games – there is no excuse for this now. Ultimately the story is the key though so I probably shouldn’t get too upset.
So with no major surprises in the first episode, it does what it needs to. It sets the scene, reassures the player that this isn’t going to give them a story they already know, and it does a decent job of whetting your appetite for more of the Guardians. I’m pleased to say that my favourite character from the films – Drax – has some killer lines and fresh off seeing Guardians 2, this scratches my itch nicely. Now just to wait for Episode 2…